One of the hard parts of my job as a wine taster (I know, poor me!) is that the wine reps always bring in wine ahead of the season in which it should or would be consumed, and therefore I rarely taste a wine in the season its typically associated with. Example, selecting the summer’s dry roses in January, or crisp Sauvignon Blanc’s in March when it’s still freezing. However, in fall all the stars align and I get to taste the wines in perfect tune with the changing of the weather. (except today, when it was 90 degrees?)
I must say, I have been very lucky this season and tasted some incredible wines. There is just so much good juice out there! My fall favorites include the following prerequisites:
- Refreshment factor. The French call this style ‘glou glou’, like the sound you make when you chug something. I want fall reds to be lighter and grape-ier than full-bodied winter reds.
- Whites with heft. At this point I’m over light, crisp whites and ready for something bigger, nuttier, more complex.
- Reds with a chill. See prerequisite number 1.
Find the following fall Sommelier Selections at both store locations.
Banshee Chardonnay, Sonoma. Since Chardonnay always has apple flavors, it works well in this season of cider and pumpkin patches. This is a guilty-pleasure wine, because even though its rich and bold I just can’t hate it. I should mention its available in a magnum, which is on sale. Make some friends and bring the mag to your next tailgate.
Terre Nere Etna Bianco, Italy. A Sicilian treasure. A blend of local varieties you’ve never heard of: Carricante, Catarratto, Inzolia, Grecanico.This wine is grown on the side of a very active volcano, because the winemaker is crazy. It’s all about that volcanic soil!
GD Vajra Langhe Rosso, Piedmont. My perennial favorite. A blend of Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and Pinot Nero from the nicest winemaking family on the planet. I love this wine with a chill on pizza night.
Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc, California. Buy it while it’s here! Broc Cellars has a cult following amongst the ‘hipster’ wine community, and for good reason. Focusing on natural winemaking techniques and sourcing excellent fruit, all the wines from Broc exhibit purity and drinkability.
Thivin Cotes de Brouilly, Beaujolais. The end-all-be-all fall red. PERIOD! Really, all Beaujolais falls into my fall reds category. Freshness and lightness while still showcasing earth and herbs. You get so much flavor with so little weight, it’s insane. This beauty from Kermit Lynch delivers every vintage.
Azul y Garanza Tempranillo, Spain. Value-alert! An organic wine made in the protected Navarre valley of Spain, where because of the cool breezes and extreme temperature shifts the wines stay fresh and clean. The 1L bottle makes it even better.
Occhipinti SP68 Frappato/Nero d’Avola Blend, Sicily. This wine is fragrant, exciting, and a pleasure to drink. It tastes like cherries and blueberries had a baby. Cherberries?